Raised as a “Christian,” I went to church on Sundays with my family. As a child, my mother would dress me up, slick my hair down, and tell me not to make a peep. I would sit on the hard pews scribbling on little pieces of paper and watch my mother watch the preacher. With each nod of her head I wondered if she was agreeing with what the preacher had said, or just bouncing along with the song that I was humming in my bored head. When I was finished with my masterpieces—Jesus riding in my stead on the majestic Triceratops—I would eagerly show my mother what I had done. She would look at me and place a silent finger to her mouth, silencing my dreams. She would rather have those boring words than her own son. She reminded me of “God.”
As I grew older I accepted Jesus and was baptized by the pastor of my church. I read parts of my Bible and knew the verse numbers of important sayings. I attended Sunday school as well as the regular service. About a year later, my fifth-grade teacher divorced her husband because he had been going out of state on “business trips.” She learned that he was cheating on her, and I learned that he was my pastor. He left our church, and I was both without a pastor and without a faith.
Throughout English, calculus, and biology, I proceeded to lose my religion. I poured over the works of Darwin, L’Hopital, Isaac, Hemingway, and Euler. Each one taught me enough to come to my own conclusions on religion. It was all just a simple meme, passed about like a disease, infecting anyone with fears. People are afraid of death. The finality of it simply boggles the mind and frightens the “soul.” One would much rather go and be with all the people they loved in life forever than simply end everything, so he invents a reality. People simply aren’t willing to break free of their chains and leave the cave of ignorance.
I realized religion is simply something you believe in with all your heart. I soon regained a religion—my first girlfriend. I thought I loved her with all my heart and soul. She truly was my religion—she was my Catherine. I learned so much about myself through her constant demands. I watched as I was torn apart by her lies and abuse. I would have gladly died for her, and I continued to tell myself how much she meant to me: Everything. I threw myself at her mercy over and over again for three whole years, only to be trampled upon by her deceit. Then, on one telephone conversation, I lost everything I had and realized that my love and my religion had been feigned by my selfless heart.